Traditional Music Session – Now Online!

At the moment the Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden is closed under Government instruction and the Old Bridge Sessionaires have no home to go to on Monday evenings. We have set up ongoing weekly online tune sessions on Monday evenings using the Zoom app, which gives us the opportunity to play tunes along to a lead player, try out new tunes, and generally discuss matters of high import.

We have also started inviting an occasional guest performer along to a ‘Virtual Session’, to play and talk about their work. Our first such guest was Tom Kitching on 4 May, read the Review below.

If you are interested in joining the Old Bridge sessions online on Monday evenings, or ‘coming’ to the ‘Virtual Sessions’ please send an email to ryburn3step@gmail.com


REVIEW – Virtual Session with Tom Kitching, 4 May 2020

Last evening (May the 4th) we tried out using Zoom for a Virtual Session with Tom Kitching who had kindly agreed to act as guinea pig. For one hour Tom presented his new book and CD ‘Seasons of Change – Busking England‘, to a small audience of around 18 carefully selected people. He read passages from the book, played a selection of tunes from the CD, and then we had a discussion with him about the project. It was most interesting and enjoyable.

It was a very different experience from the intimate House Concerts we are used to, but given the constraints we are all under it worked very well. Tom had to perform to an audience who weren’t there in person, likening it to a ‘studio’ performance, but fortunately he was able to substitute a large stuffed dinosaur for a real audience so his professionalism shone through.

These are difficult times for musicians and performers whom we would normally have booked for our annual programme of Folk Clubs, Dances, House Concerts and Workshops. Virtual Sessions using Zoom are one way in which Ryburn 3 Step thinks it can contribute to helping musicians and performers, at the same time providing music and song that friends and colleagues can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.

If you want to support Tom Kitching by buying a copy of his new book and CD ‘Seasons of Change – Busking England’, click HERE. Thank you.


In normal times the Old Bridge Traditional Music Session takes place every Monday evening in the Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden. Thanks to Tim the landlord, we have been settled there for over 20 years. We wish Tim and Lindsay and all the family and staff well, and hope to be able to return in the not-too-distant future.

R3S Bridge Session 2019

The Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden is probably Yorkshire’s oldest hostelry, appearing in recorded history in 1307. It’s worth a visit to enjoy the food, drink and atmosphere, but especially on Monday evenings to enjoy the music as well.
Commencing around 9pm every Monday, the session is a jamboree of mostly (but not exclusively) English tunes. The standard of playing is fairly high and you are welcome to come along and join in; lead your favourite tunes or play along with ours. There are recordings of our sets of tunes that we like, and plenty of printed music available for those who want to practice at home before venturing out to play in public. Chris Partington has put together a selection which you can find here.

The Ryburn music sessions are keeping a modern tradition alive because for over 40 years musicians around the Ryburn Valley have gathered together each week to sit in a pub, have a drink and play tunes on fiddles, melodeons, concertinas, hammer dulcimers and various other acoustic instruments.

Visiting musicians have recently included Vic Gammon, Pippa Sandford, Anahata and Mary Humphries, Dave Somerville, and Hazel and Greg Smith from Cambridge.

In the early days the Sessions were held in The Blue Ball at Soyland and regulars even included visitors from across the great divide (i.e. from Lancashire) such as Mike Harding. In the last Century, when Bill Leader’s recording studio was only a couple of miles away, there were occasional surprise visitors such as Nic Jones, Tony Rose and on one occasion, Pick Withers from Dire Straits.

Contact Johnny Adams on 01422 822413 if you want some more information. Or just come along, say hello, have a beer and see what it’s all about.

An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley